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24 October 2015


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter 7)
J K Rowling
Bloomsbury Children 
Publication Date
July 2007
fantasy, children

Description (from Amazon)

As he climbs into the sidecar of Hagrid's motorbike and takes to the skies, leaving Privet Drive for the last time, Harry Potter knows that Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters are not far behind. The protective charm that has kept Harry safe until now is now broken, but he cannot keep hiding. The Dark Lord is breathing fear into everything Harry loves, and to stop him Harry will have to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes. The final battle must begin - Harry must stand and face his enemy.

My thoughts

The sevenths and final adventure for Harry, Ron, Hermoine & co.

I knew the story and also the ending from the movie which I watched first, but this did not matter - it was still a fantastic read and I felt myself being drawn into the final battle which Harry, Hermione and Ron are facing. The writing is flawless as always and JK Rowling knows how to create tension and tell a fantastic story. 

I also felt that this book was a very fitting ending to the Harry Potter Books, creating the final climax and having a nice little 'wrap up' at the end. Without trying to give to much away, I think most know that Harry does indeed survive his adventures, and the last chapter tells us what Harry and his friends are doing 20 years later. 

5 October 2015


After You
James Farmer
Publication Date
August 2013

Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Description (from Amazon)

‘The day we met. Our first kiss. Our first dance. The night we first made love. The first time your text didn’t end with an X. The day you said it was over.’

It was supposed to last forever...

Is it ever possible to pick up the pieces and start again after losing The One?

An honest and evocative tale detailing the aftermath of the break-up that was never meant to happen.

My thoughts

At only just over 200 pages, this little book can be read almost in one/two sittings, and only 99p at the moment (I've picked it up as a Freebie from Amazon a while ago).

The story of a break-up, as simple as that. No hidden agenda and no big twists and turns in the middle nor a huge revelation at the end. I could almost physically feel the pain of the protagonist. And even though the author says at the end that it is not based on personal experience, it certainly feels that way. The way the raw emotions are described, it feels like you can only write about it in that way if you 'have been there'. It starts out depressing - and that's the point of it I think, as the author wants to show how incredibly hard it was. And that's it's not a one-way street but have throw-backs. How your friends think they are helping you but actually just seem to make at worst. At least at the beginning.

But there is a positive message at the end. I don't think it is too raw to read if you are just going through a difficult break-up, as it shows that others have been there, and there is hope. (I know it's fiction but even fiction taken from real life here for sure.)

4 October 2015

Nightmares and Dreamscapes
Stephen King
Publication Date
Horror, short stories, paranormal

Description from Amazon

The Stephen King Amusement Park – an unnerving experience, with rides every which way to hell…and a few to glory.

A solitary finger pokes out of a drain. Novelty teeth turn predatory. The Nevada desert swallows a Cadillac. Meanwhile, the legend of Castle Rock returns… and grows on you. What does it all mean? What else could it mean? Stephen King is here with a powerful collection of stories – a vast, many-chambered cave of a volume.

The long reach of Stephen King’s imagination will take you on a rollercoaster to places you’ve never been before. You will lose sleep. But Stephen King, writing to beat the devil, will do your dreaming for you.

My thoughts / contents 

Yes, this is King. Pure and fine, it will grab you and you won't forget them ever. Every King fan recognises the stories:

1. Dolan's Cadillac
A husband revenges the killing of his wife. Only, it isn't that easy when the mob is involved. So you take a job at the Highway Department, learn all about digging out the road and wait for your chance.

2. The End of the Whole Mess
Howard gets a visit from his brother Bobby whom he hasn't seen for a while. Bobby has always been very bright and gifted and dreams of making the world a better place. He discovers that people in a certain place are more mellow than in others and links it to the water. Now if he could extract whatever it is in the water that makes people mellow and non-fighting and could distribute it around the world, that would be the solution to eternal peace. 

3. Suffer the Little Children
A mean teacher, Miss Sidley, and how her pupils became infected with something rather strange. That brought her down a bit!

4. The Night Flier
Journalist Dees thinks he is on to a story. A serial killer who uses a small plane to turn up, and leaving mutilated bodies behind. Strangle, with a hold of the plane full of soil, and he wears a long coat and seems to operate only once daylight is gone. Dees catches up with him.

5. Popsy
Sheridan is about to abduct a kid at the local shopping mall. But he picked the wrong kid, because his popsy is coming. Both the kid and popsy are thirty, and it's not water they want. 

6. It grows on you
Dedicated King fans:we are back in Castle Rock and a house that keeps growing. Locals remember. 

7. Chattery Teeth
Hogan, a travelling salesman, buys a set of novelty teeth on legs in a roadside shop for his son. And he picks up a hitchhiker even though he usually does not do this kind of thing. And it was a bad choice, as it turns out. Will the chattery teeth save his life?

8. Dedication
Martha Rosswell tells her friend the story of the somewhat unusual conception of her son. That son will in later life be come a successful novelist. A bit 'yucky' but this story also has serious undertones of racism experienced by Martha. 

9. The Moving Finger
Maybe the most creepy story of this collection, and, in typical King style, shows how two common objects - a finger and a wash basin - can become someones absolute horror.

10. Sneakers
John can see a pair of sneakers (worn by a person I shall add) under the toilet cubicle next to his. Nothing strange. Expect they are still there next time he goes, weeks later. 

11. You Know They Got a Hell of a Band
A road trip. Mary and Clark get lost, the roads gets smaller and smaller and then opens into a clearing with a lovely little town. But something is odd. All the residents they meet seem to resemble deceased rock stars. Janis Joplin, Buddy Holly, Elvis. And they would like Mary and Clark to stay for a concert that evening.

12. Home Delivery
Maddie Pace is a simple country girl who marries young to a man who takes charge of her, and that's how she likes it. Now she is expecting her baby. But she seems to be the only one left now on this planet. 

13. Rainy Season
Another road trip (I love those!) John and Elise Graham arrive in their holiday home in Willow, Maine (where else!). The local shopkeeper warn him that it is rainy season that night (It doesn't look very cloudy at all!) and that it rains frogs. He warns them to close all doors and windows to their holiday home tightly. John and Elise dismiss him, but of course should have listened to him.

14. My Pretty Pony
Grandpa explained Clivey a bit about the passing of time. 
I struggled a bit with this story - didn't get into it as much as other stories, but t did contain a quote which I highlighted and took out from this book:
'Times when you're hurt go on forever, seems like'

15. Sorry, Right Number
Loved this, as the realisation of what's happened hit me on the last page. A story of time travel / different dimensions. 
Katie receives a phone call: someone is sobbing and clearly in extreme distress, trying to tell her something. The voice sounds familiar, and she thinks one of her family members is in trouble. Katie and her husband Bill frantically check out their daughter and Katie's sister, but they are fine. So who called, and in a voice which was oddly familiar?

16. The Ten O'Clock People
The Ten O'Clock People are the ones who gather outside office buildings at 10, for their first cigarette break of the working day. Pearson sees the same people every day at 10, with their unspoken unity of their vice. But today Pearson notices something very strange indeed - his co-worker suddenly seem to transfer into some kind of alien species. Does no one else notice? And what is the link to the Ten O'clock People?

17. Crouch End
I lived in London for a while, and now still work here, so this took me almost to familiar territory. King's kind of horror does not only happen in Maine, but right in the suburbs of London. 
An American couple on holiday in London, and they seem to end up in a very strange place indeed. Now I know that some areas in every big city are dodgy, but here we are talking a different dimension where the taxi cab which dropped them is suddenly gone and while they still stand in the same road, it has changed and the town's noise is muffled. 

18. The House on Maple Street
The Bradbury children live with their mum and step-dad in said house. Lew, their step-dad, is not a very pleasant man, and it seems their mum as given up on life. Then the children discover some kind of strange metallic structure behind the walls in their house, and it grows. 

19. The Doctor's Case
A Sherlock Holmes story here! I loved how King manages to exactly hit the writing style and tone of the Sherlock Holmes books. All our favourite characters are here: Holmes, Watson, Lestrade and of course, they solve a crime in typical Holmes/Watson manner. Lord Hull gets stabbed to death in his study, with no-one having access to the room. His wife and children were all in the house at the time, and they all had reasons to wanting to dispose of him. 

20. Umney's Last Case
Umney is a detective in the 1940's - or is he? Maybe he belongs to a different time period? I don't want to give too much away, but here, the characters of a story interact with the writer of the story in unexpected ways.

21. Head Down
A departure here from all the other stories - this is a non-fiction account where King tells us about his son's local baseball team league. Nothing supernatural here. I did struggle a bit, as I don't know anything about baseball apart from the fact that it is a sport played in stadiums. But it was still worth reading for King's wonderful prose.

22. The Beggar and the Diamond
A Hindu Parabel, re-told by King